Parshat Vayaqhel (He Assembled)

The Torah portion is Vayaqhel, Exodus 35:1-38:20.

Moses tells the people about the Sabbath, and requests the previously described offerings for the building of the Sanctuary in the wilderness and its accoutrements. The people generously provide more than was needed and the described items are built by selected skilled artisans.

This week, there is a special maftir portion (the final piece of the Torah reading) for Shabbat Sheqalim: Exodus 30:11-16. This passage tells about the collection of a half-sheqel tax used to count a census and maintain the Tent of Meeting.

The haftarah is for Shabbat Sheqalim, II Kings 12:1-17. This passage speaks of using money from the people (like the money from the census) to repair the Temple.

In synagogues using the Sephardic tradition, the Haftarah is II Kings 11:17-12:17.